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Ford to Make Respirators Using F-150 Parts in Collaboration With 3M

As reported just the other day, American automakers have offered their services to jump in and help with the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic where they can. Mainly, the aid would come in the form of emergency medical equipment. Yesterday, it was a promise. Today, the effort seems to have gotten underway and Ford is getting rather resourceful.

Digging in the Parts Bin

From what we’ve gathered, the effort will be collaborative between Ford and 3M. Instead of the current design, the combo will retool the air-purifying respirator that 3M currently makes for first responders and the healthcare field. The idea will be to efficiently combine resources to protect these people from contracting the virus.

The neat thing about it is that Ford is going to incorporate some parts from the parts bin. Sharing components between different models is something that automakers will commonly do. Why bother reinventing the wheel if you don’t have to? We didn’t think that we would see a day where the parts sharing went in this direction, though.

The collaborative version of the device will make use of a fan that Ford normally uses for its ventilated seats in the F-150. Given that it’s the best selling vehicle in the country, we’re sure that they have plenty on hand. The fan will be combined with a 3M HEPA filter and power tool batteries.

The initial goal is going to be the production of 1,000 units per month. The plan is to create them at the Advanced Manufacturing Center that’s currently responsible for 3D printed Shelby GT500 brake pads.

OTher Equipment PRoduction

Other items that Ford is working on including transparent face shields and a ventilator system. The latter of which will be constructed in a collaborative effort with GE Healthcare. We don’t have official word on where these will be built just yet. The hope is to find a way to have them produced in one of Ford’s preexisting factories.